[33.jpg]The Cayuse-Nez Percé Sketchbook


The Cayuse-Nez Percé Sketchbook, in the collection of Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Oregon Libraries, is an important illustration of Native American art and history at a time when traditional native means of communication were discouraged by the policies of the government of the United States. This sketchbook, thirty-two drawings in a school composition book, is believed to be the last of these records, having been discovered in the early part of the 20th century, a time when this form of record-keeping had come to an end.

The accompanying essay was published in the Spring, 1980 edition of the Oregon Historical Quarterly. Our thanks to the Oregon Historical Society, Professor Theodore Stern, and Mr. Alphonse F. Halfmoon for their permission in presenting this work.

Martin Schmitt became curator of Special Collections at the University of Oregon Libraries in 1947. His Catalogue of Manuscripts in the University of Oregon Library, published in 1971, was a ground-breaking work which received an award from the Society of American Archivists. He was a scholar and a visionary curator, and with Edward Kemp, built an extraordinary collection at the University of Oregon. Schmidt passed away in 1978, and did not see this article published. Ted Stern is a professor emeritus, having taught anthropology at the University of Oregon for 34 years, and an authority on Native American and Southeast Asian tribal peoples. His work has been cited by the United States Supreme Court. Alphonse F. Halfmoon was the discoverer of the sketchbook, and an elder of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla.

The on-line version was created in the 1980s by Tassa Gribsko, with assistance from Betsey Ashley. Both were student assistants in Special Collections, under the oversight of Will Harmon. The presentation was substantially revised and augmented in 2003. One image from the publication is not included in this presentation: Plate 1, the Brooks robe, held by the Field Museum. Other images from the Libraries' collections have been added to this version which did not appear in the print article. Titles drawn from the essay text have been assigned to the image sequences for ease of navigation.

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Last revision: 10/31/06 by N. Helmer
Created by Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries